Artist Statement

My work is about function and pattern. It is important for the pieces to be dynamic: to stand out in a world full of everyday objects but to also invite familiarity and intimate use. The patterns on the surfaces are influenced by my interest in symmetry and the organization of like pieces. At first the patterns were an answer to a question. “How do I activate the surface, to make these understated yet elegant forms seem less static?” Inevitably more questions follow. “What if I split the rim, end a curve here, adjust the foot this way, start a pattern from this point, in this color?” With the answer to each of these questions, visual meanings arise. Through the varying quality of a hand drawn line, repetition of shapes and the addition of bright colors, the comfortable forms become more engaging. It’s about bringing an everyday object to the foreground.


Dawn received her BFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 2003. She was an associate volunteer at The Clay Studio in Philadelphia for 2 years after graduation. In 2006 she moved with her husband to Albany NY, where she took a short hiatus from her work so that her husband could focus on his studies in Painting. In 2008 they moved to Northampton MA were she began to focus on her ceramic career. Over the next few years Dawn’s experimentations with electric firing, underglaze and surface laid the foundation for her current work. In 2013 she became a full time studio potter. Since then she has been in group shows, including: Beyond the Brickyard - Sixth Annual Juried Exhibition at the Archie Bray Foundation, the 22nd Annual Strictly Functional Pottery National and Small Favors IX at The Clay Studio in Philadelphia. Her work has been shown at ceramic galleries including The Clay Studio, Akar and InTandem Gallery. She was one of Ceramic Monthly’s Emerging Artists in 2014. Dawn Dishaw has presented demonstrations of her work and taught children’s classes at various studios including Wesleyan Potters and Saratoga Clay Arts. In 2015 she and her husband, Michael moved back to the Albany area. In 2019 Dawn established The Studio, an After School Art Program at the Round Lake School in Round Lake, NY. Dawn currently lives and works north of Albany in Mechanicville NY with her husband, Michael.